N2WS builds more momentum with Azure support, embrace of technically specialized partners

N2WS was originally a pure play AWS protection platform, with AWS being both their best partner and biggest competitor, but they more recently broadened into  Azure platform support and the Azure marketplace.

Ezra Charm, VP of Marketing at N2WS

Cloud data protection provider N2WS has had an eventful recent history, highlighted by a purchase by Veeam back in 2018 that eventually failed to come to be. Since then, the company has broadened its support and its market share, by adding support for Azure to the support for AWS which was originally its entire focus. While they had channel partners back in 2018, they have deepened their presence there, particularly around very specialized solution providers.

N2WS began as a pure play native backup and recovery solution for AWS, and came onto the radar of many channel people for the first time in early 2018, when they were purchased by Veeam. Ultimately, however, that sale did not go through, and N2WS is now owned by its CEO, CTO and employees.

“We are worth a lot more now than the price that Veeam would have acquired us for, so it all worked out well,” said Ezra Charm, VP of Marketing at N2WS.

Since, then, N2WS has evolved their business.

“We have expanded into the Azure marketplace recently, and a year and a half ago, we released the capability to protect Azure from the same console that protects AWS,” Charm indicated. “We are soon about to expand all this further with our 4.2 release.”

AWS is a classic ‘frenemy’ for N2WS.

“AWS is our closest partner and biggest competitor,” Charm said. “AWS has done  a good job of indicating to customers the limits of what they do under the shared responsibility model. As a result, AWS backup customers are our best customers. The cost of our tool is nothing compared to their investment. Customers don’t need backup plans. They need recovery that works. AWS is still the leader in this space, although we are getting more interest for now having support for Azure.”

N2WS is also receiving more interest from channel partners.

“Most companies now buy direct from us today, but the partner sales are now 25% and growing,” Charm said. “We are now getting considerable business from AWS partners who work with us rather than through the market place. That is the  number one area of growth we have seen. If we can attract more good partners, it amplifies our voice.”

Many of these good partners are increasingly highly specialized ones whose skill set dovetails nicely with N2WS.

“For instance, Lemongrass helps companies deploy SAP HANA on AWS,” Charm stated. “We specialize in protecting SAP HANA on AWS. A partner like that is very important. We really do match well with those specialized partners, who can bring us a few deals a year.

“Another example would be Reliable Penguin, one of our MSP partners, with very specialized practices,” Charm added. “Now if you buy a ticket to a Broadway show, it likely gets backed up through them to us.”

N2WS’s original customer base was highly focused on enterprise and born-in-the cloud companies. Now that is broadening out.

“We are now starting to see midmarket adoption,” Charm noted.

N2WS’s challenge is to maintain their first mover advantage in a marketplace where technology and sales models have been adapting to meet customer demands.

“Six years ago, we had to explain to many customers why they should back up,” said Sebastian Straub, Principal Solutions Architect at N2WS. “That’s also when you saw other legacy backup solutions who had been based on- prem take notice. We were the trailblazers. Then AWS got a lot of calls from customers and other legacy enterprise backup vendors also introduced new offerings and new models. They were the ones trying to catch up to us. We’ve always had a tremendous head start.”

“We were so far ahead of the curve years ago in being able to sell on a month to month basis, and being able to be deployed in 15 minutes,” Charm said. “It’s not the way enterprise software had been sold. That was perpetual license. Our offering customers monthly sales means that they can cancel at any point if they aren’t happy. That is something that has kept us on our toes.

“We live and breathe resilience,” Charm concluded. “We have been through some things, and our product is what we live and breathe, not just what we sell.”